The confluence of the war in Ukraine, Israel’s extraction of offshore natural gas, and the improvement of Jerusalem’s ties with Turkey and several Arab countries is bringing new possibilities for the Jewish state, as Elai Rettig explains:
Ever since the discovery of major offshore gas deposits in 2009 and 2010, Israel has been struggling to secure major export deals to Europe. . . . Israel has yet to find buyers for about two-thirds of the gas it has earmarked for export and has seen its bidding rounds for new gas exploration licenses repeatedly fail.
This could change following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which caused a major price hike for imported gas in Europe and a new desire among EU policymakers to secure non-Russian gas supplies even at higher cost, especially liquified natural gas (LNG). . . . Israeli and regional investors are hopeful that LNG will be the next chapter for the eastern Mediterranean gas export market, ridding it of the geopolitics of pipelines.
In addition to raising natural-gas prices, the war in Ukraine is causing a major shift in global oil-transit routes, putting the eastern Mediterranean, and particularly Israel, right in the middle. . . . This reconfiguration of global oil routes can reignite and even expand Israel’s role as a transit and storage destination for Europe-bound oil.
Finally, Europe’s energy challenges are creating a major push towards alternative energy solutions in both Europe and the Arab Gulf states, offering Israel a major role as a leader in clean-tech innovation. On the European side, while the energy crisis is causing a rise in demand for oil, gas, and coal in the short term, it is also encouraging further investment in solar, wind, and even nuclear alternatives to increase independence from Russian imports over the longer term. . . . An additional market for Israeli innovation can be found in the Arab Gulf states as they look for solutions to decrease domestic demand for oil and gas through alternative energy systems.
More about: Abraham Accords, Israeli economy, Israeli gas, War in Ukraine